Law & Legislation for Medical Cannabis

Law & Legislation for Medical Cannabis

Amendments to Misuse of Drugs Act

Medical cannabis was legalised via changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act (2001) that came into affect from 1st November 2018. Since that time, consumption of medical cannabis including flower has been legal throughout the Great Britain UK. You can find the full Misuse of Drugs Amendments (2018) for 'Cannabis and License Fees' on the linked UK government legislatory website.

Over the past 4 years a small industry has been built around providing medical cannabis to eligible patients, MedBud is a patient built guide which exists to document all options available to patients indiscriminately. As of early 2023, around 25,000 patients across the UK are known to be prescribed medical cannabis by a specialist.

Smoking vs. Vaping Medical Cannabis

At the current time all patients are expected to vape, use sublingual oil products or take pre-dosed capsules, smoking is only permitted for research purposes. According to the exact wording used in the above linked amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act:

16A (3) A person shall not self-administer a cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans by the smoking of the product (other than for research purposes in accordance with regulation 13)

Regulation 13 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (2001) states:

(...) shall not have effect in relation to the smoking of cannabis or cannabis resin for the purposes of research on any premises for the time being approved for the purpose under this regulation by the Secretary of State.

We interpret the current legislation as only permitting the 'smoking' of medical cannabis when conducting research. MedBud has attempted to validate with a legal professional whether 'research purposes' is otherwise defined in statute, and it appears not, with no mandated need to declare or otherwise document your 'research purposes' for smoking medical cannabis as written. This is not intended to be legal advice, just but an interpretation of the above vague legalese.

No medical professional will encourage smoking medical cannabis, which is in all instances detrimental to health. All medical cannabis flower dispensed will ordinarily state to 'vape' in the administration instructions, we're currently unaware which law may be broken by not following this - nor any further legal repercussions. Please update us with further information.

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NHS LogoFurther National Health-Service Information on Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal Use (CBPMs)